Jonathan Villar may have a starting shortstop gig lined up

St Louis Cardinals v New York Mets
St Louis Cardinals v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

The New York Mets have a couple of directions they can go to bolster the roster in ways we wouldn’t necessarily think are possible. The DH provides them with one more roster spot to make this happen. Recent Mets rumors have even pointed to the idea of Freddie Freeman coming to Queens and moving Pete Alonso into the DH role.

On a lesser scale, there haven’t been too many Mets rumors about what the club plans to do beyond the starting nine. Starting pitching appears to be a priority. We also know they need a lefty reliever. What about the bench?

Jonathan Villar is one of the free agents who signed a one-year deal with the club last year only to end up moving into a near full-time role as their starting third baseman and even as the shortstop when Francisco Lindor went down. Those hopeful that he’d return in 2022 might want to curb their enthusiasm. Villar might already have a starting shortstop gig lined up elsewhere.

Free agent Mets rumors suggest Jonathan Villar is headed to start for the Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are rebuilding themselves after tearing it all apart last summer. Well, not entirely. They still have a few good pieces and spent the limited offseason back in November adding talent to the roster. They already inked Marcus Stroman to a deal. Why not add yet another member of the 2021 Mets to the roster?

Several weeks ago, two MLB insiders named Villar as one of the likely shortstop candidates for the Cubs. The other, Jose Iglesias, is probably on a similar level as Villar. He is also a short-term option for a club hoping to snag a player at a cheaper price.

Villar could conceivably play a role on the Mets in 2022 as a starting third baseman. If the team does trade Jeff McNeil, Eduardo Escobar could slide over to second base and third base is suddenly wide open for Villar to go back to where he played so many games late in 2021. Alternatively, I suppose the Mets could always simply sign Villar to play second base.

What doesn’t seem likely is to see any Mets rumors linking him to the team with a gig like the one in Chicago looking available. Unless the Mets are willing to pay him a lot of money to be a part-time player, it doesn’t make much sense for Villar. He rebuilt his stock with the Mets in 2021. This offseason is his chance to capitalize and, at the very least, get a starting gig.

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